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Softball Falls Short Twice to No. 16 Williams on Saturday

Photo by Jonas Powell '18
Photo by Jonas Powell '18

Parts of Recap Courtesy of Williams College Sports Information Office

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Two great pitching efforts by junior Mackenzie Murphy and sophomore Rebecca Dun led the No. 16-ranked Williams College softball team to a pair of victories on Saturday afternoon over Wesleyan University in Williamstown, Mass., as the Ephs prevailed by a 5-1 margin in Game 1 and posted a 12-0 win in five innings during the second game.

The Ephs improved to 17-4 overall and 4-1 in the NESCAC West Division, while Wesleyan slipped to 8-11 and 0-4 in conference play. The two teams will meet up for the final game of the series on Sunday at noon from Williams.

Wesleyan scored its lone run of the day in the top of the first inning during the opener, as senior captain Rielly Wieners singled home freshman Danielle Rinaldi with two outs. The Cardinals were limited to only four hits and no runs over the next 11 innings, as Murphy (6-0) threw a four-hitter in Game 1 and Duncan (8-2) posted a one-hitter during the five-inning affair in Game 2. 

Williams answered with two runs in its half of the first during Game 1, with Jessica Kim leading off with a double to left that one-hopped the fence. Lexi Curt singled and Murphy grounded a double over the third-base bag to score Kim. Curt scored the go-ahead run on Margo Beck's groundout to short. The Ephs tacked on a run in the fourth when the first three batters singled. Duncan led off with an infield hit, Brenna Martinez followed with a grounder back up the middle, and Riley Salvo snuck a grounder through the left side to score Duncan for a 3-1 lead. 

The Ephs added unearned runs in the fifth and the sixth, and held a 10-4 edge in hits for the contest. Murphy allowed four hits over seven innings and the one unearned run. She did not walk a batter and struck out five. She was also 2-for-3 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored. Martinez was 2-for-3 as well, and Kim was 2-for-4 with a run scored. 

Junior Olivia Gorman was 2-for-2 for Wesleyan, and senior starting pitcher Julie McDonald went the distance, allowing 10 hits and five runs, three earned, over six innings. She did not walk a batter, while striking out four. 

The nightcap was a different story, as the Ephs smacked four home runs and the game ended after five innings due to the eight-run mercy rule. Duncan carried a perfect game into the top of the fifth, but Wieners broke that bid up with a single up the middle. Duncan went 3-for-3 at the plate with two home runs and seven RBIs. 

The Ephs put six runs on the board in the bottom of the first and never looked back. Kim drew a lead-off walk from Rinaldi, who started Game 2 for Wesleyan, and after an out, Murphy singled to left. Duncan followed with a three-run shot to left-center, which was her first home run of the season.

Beck then reached on catcher's interference, and Kirstin Mapes doubled to right field. With two outs, Casey Pelz crushed a three-run blast, which put Williams up 6-0. 

The Ephs added a run in the second on Murphy's solo blast to right-center field off a changeup. They added five more in the third, all with two outs. First-year Jennifer Hickey started the rally with a slap hit to center. Kim grounded a single to left, and Curt lined a single to right that scored Hickey for an 8-0 lead. After a walk to Murphy, Duncan hit a towering drive down the left-field line that cleared the wall for a grand slam and a 12-0 Williams lead. 

Duncan recorded her shutout by allowing the one hit over five. She did not walk a batter and struck out six. Murphy was 2-for-2 with three runs scored and an RBI. Pelz was 1-for-2 with three RBIs and a run scored. Kim was 1-for-3 with two runs scored. Rinaldi took the loss for Wesleyan.